Contact your local law enforcement department right now. Call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST after you have reported your kid missing to police enforcement (1-800-843-5678). These organizations can help locate your child.
Here are some other things you should do:
Review with your child the important things in a safe place. Make a list of what to do if you go missing. This will help everyone know what to do if they become separated during an adventure or emergency situation.
Spend some time each day looking for clues that could lead to finding your child. Post notices, ask neighbors if they have seen your child, and check local businesses for information.
If you believe the child has been abducted, call 911 immediately. Police officers will want to know everything that happened, who might have done this, and where the child was last seen. Let them know if anything suspicious was happening in the area at the time.
Now is not the time to panic. Take deep breaths and try not to worry about your child. He or she is probably just playing somewhere else in sight of someone. They may even be waiting for you to stop worrying and go look for them!
Call the police right away. Local authorities are obligated to immediately input the name and details of a missing kid into the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File—there is no waiting time for juveniles under the age of 18. The file will include photos, medical information, and any other relevant data about the case.
Before you call the police, try some of these steps first. If your search turns up nothing, then contact law enforcement immediately.
Try searching local newspapers for clues as to your child's whereabouts. Search social media sites like Facebook for posts that may have been made by your child. Contact friends and family members to see if they have any information about where your child might be.
Teach children how to make good decisions. Help them understand what can happen if they go out at night without telling anyone where they are going.
Set up a phone alert. Most phones now come with an app called "Missing" that can send alerts to your mobile device when someone misses a meeting with their parents, doesn't show up for school, or isn't home by a certain time. These alerts can help find kids who have gone missing.
Contact a local charity that specializes in finding missing people. These organizations can help review local listings to see if there are any matches with names and descriptions provided by you or others.
Where to File a Report
As soon as you know your adolescent is gone, call your local police department at 101. (The 24-hour waiting time does not apply to minors under the age of 18.) Check your child's Facebook wall (if they have one) for any information, or search their online history for hints. If they don't go on social media, try searching through their phone records and email.
Do not attempt to contact your child directly. They may be in danger if they know they are being sought out by others. Instead, send messages through friends or family members. Use social media sites like Facebook to post clues about your child's whereabouts.
If they do not turn up within 24 hours, file a missing person's report. Missing adults typically receive more attention from law enforcement, so check with your local police department first before filing a report.